Australia — The family of a firefighter who died after Black Saturday could miss out on full compensation if it’s decided he was not killed on duty.
Joe Shepherd, who had been a volunteer for 27 years, suffered severe burns while trying to help his brother-in-law during the February 7 firestorm, the Diamond Valley Leader reports.
Despite a brave rescue by his colleagues, Mr Shepherd, 60, died in the Alfred Hospital on February 23, believed to be the only CFA victim of the fires.
The CFA is investigating the circumstances of Mr Shepherds death to determine whether he can be considered to have died in the line of duty which could affect the amount of compensation his family is entitled to. It is understood that after working on a tanker for a short period on Black Saturday, Mr Shepherd was released from duty after receiving an emergency call for help from his brother-in-law. He was later found badly injured beside his car.
CFA spokesman Robert Hogan said the results of an independent investigation had been passed on to chief officer Russell Rees and chief executive Niel Bibby for consideration.